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Therapist explains 'orchid vs. dandelion child' theory on why abused siblings turn out different

'As orchid children it becomes doubly more important for us to find a beautiful community to be a part of,' says Judy in the video.  

Therapist explains 'orchid vs. dandelion child' theory on why abused siblings turn out different
Cover Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild

Have you ever wondered how children growing up in an abusive family turn out to be? @theorchidchild, a hypnotherapist, explains in her video the different behavior patterns these kids develop despite growing up in the same environment.

She asks in the video, "If you were raised in an unsafe household and you have a brother or a sister, is one of you guys way more sensitive than the other one? And when I say sensitive I'm not just talking about emotionally sensitive. I'm also talking about how sensitive one is to sound, to food, to allergies, to fabric of clothing. Just generally sensitive to the environment."

Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild
Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild

Judy then talks about how these children are so different from each other. "There always seems to be that sibling who does really well and the sibling who doesn't do as well in an abusive environment," she says, before adding that in grad school, she learned there is a term for the sibling who does really well. "Someone who is highly resilient in an abusive household is called a dandelion child. They can basically thrive in any environment like the flower the dandelion itself," Judy explains.

Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild
Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild

On the other hand, Judy says, the children who don't do so well are called orchid children. "But orchid children are highly sensitive to their environment so they can actually wilt or wither away in an abusive environment. Or thrive and do really well in a positive one," she continues.

"And of course at first glance it seems that one is much more preferable than the other. But what was really interesting was a small piece of evidence that demonstrated that if an orchid child is removed from that environment and grows up and is then replaced into a nurturing and nourishing environment, they can actually surpass their dandelion counterparts," explains Judy. She ends the video by saying that the moral of the story is that, "as orchid children, it becomes doubly more important for us to find a beautiful community to be a part of."  

Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild
Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild

The video soon went viral on TikTok with over 1.3 million views and 227k likes. Other TikTok users could completely relate to what Judy shared. @xianiyi commented, "Thank u for boosting my confidence as an orchid child because I thought I was doomed hearing the first sentence." @ghostly.goblin wrote, "My sister is an orchid and I'm a dandelion, she suffered at my parent's house - she's in a safe and happy marriage now, and watching her thrive is amazing."

@melfowler2 expressed, "Agreed. Just because they had a different trauma response doesn't mean they weren't in pain." @juice_thegoose pointed out, "As an orchid child with autism, I wonder how frequently these overlap? One of the symptoms that tipped off my diagnosis doctor was all my *sensitivities*." @alisonjulia 4 wrote, "I have never felt so much validation for how I felt growing up and feel now. I am starting to bloom and thrive finally, but slowly. Thank you."

@lovellieness didn't completely agree with the video. She wrote, "My siblings have all kinds of environmental sensitivities while I have the cognitive/emotional ones. I feel the dandelion/orchid analogy is way oversimplified and polarizing."

Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild
Image Source: TikTok/ @theorchidchild

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